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UNDP’s waste innovation challenge support, impacts positively on beneficiary schools

UNDP’s waste innovation challenge support, impacts positively on beneficiary schools
UNDP Waste Innovation program Leaders

The Development Programme () and the Coca-Cola Foundation have awarded three senior high schools in Ghana a total of $9,000 through a waste innovation challenge.

The challenge aims to help participating schools implement innovative waste management projects as the deadline for achieving the (SDGs) approaches. Ms Praise Nutakor, Head of Communications and Partnerships at UNDP-Ghana, stated that the initiative is making a significant impact.

One beneficiary school, the Methodist Girls' High School in Mamfe Akuapem, , was able to build an automatic waste sorting bin that makes the separation of waste easier for recycling. The school emerged as the third winner in the challenge. Ms Nutakor noted that the prize money has been used by the school authorities to purchase accessories for the school.

Additionally, the UNDP has learnt that the support to the school has advanced the innovation spirit among the students. The students are now recycling the segregated waste into artefacts such as flower vases, foot and armrests, and centrepieces.

Ms Nutakor stated that encouraging and empowering more women and girls to innovate or pursue careers and opportunities in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics () fields would have positive impacts on society. Ms Evelyn Baah Asante Opokuaa, a past student of the school, shared her experience of science being perceived as a daunting subject for many female students due to societal biases.

However, her interest in science changed when she took a bold step to join the Renewable Energy Club in her Senior High School. Ms Asante Opokuaa said that the interest she developed has propelled her to pursue a degree in the social sciences at the .

Overall, the initiative has shown that supporting and breaking stereotypes among women and girls in science, innovation, and technology is crucial to achieving sustainable development.

The waste innovation challenge has sparked the interest of students in science and innovation, inspiring more girls to pursue careers in STEM fields.

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